I learned something about Cornwall last week. I had been told this about Cornwall before, but never realized how true it was until the OHL game that took place on Labour Day at the Cornwall Civic Complex.
I’m not talking about how Cornwall is a hockey town, that one I’ve heard before, but what I didn’t realize was how true it was that Cornwall is a “last minute” or “walk up” town.
Janice Robinson at the Complex told me that out of the 1,800 tickets sold for the game, only 800 were sold in advance, less than half. I myself bought my ticket for the game only an hour in advance.
There was no line-up at the box office when I went to get my ticket, when I came back at around 15 minutes before ice-time though, there was a line-up from the box office and out the door of people waiting to get their tickets. Even after the puck dropped to start the game there was still a lengthy line of last minute walk-ups.
This is something that both event organizers and event goers need to understand.
Event organizers or charities should remember that just because they haven’t sold a lot of tickets in advance, that doesn’t mean that the event won’t be successful.
That being said, some larger events live and die by advance ticket sales. Concert organizers and other similar types of events might choose to cancel if they do not sell a lot of tickets in advance. Advance tickets sales is also a factor for sports franchises.
This is all important to consider when thinking about getting a new OHL franchise in Cornwall. I think that if anyone wants to start a grassroots movement to bring an OHL team to Cornwall, they should start by gathering a significant group of people together who would commit to buying season tickets in advance.
Prospective franchise owners could also learn from the mistakes of the marketing strategy for this recent OHL exhibition game. No ads were bought in local media to promote the game, and if the organizers feel that their advance ticket sales were lacking, then this is a big reason why.
I ran a poll this week on our Facebook page to see how many of our readers would buy a season ticket. It was split closely down the middle with about half of respondents saying that they would get a season ticket to support a local OHL team.
Again, if someone has a passion for hockey and they want to get and keep an OHL franchise, then Cornwall can’t be a “last minute, walk- up” town, tickets must be bought in advance to show the strength of this market for that product. If I potential franchisee wants to test the waters to see if Cornwall is a viable market for the OHL, then the next time an opportunity like the Labour Day OHL exhibition game comes around, they must have an adequate marketing campaign.